It’s been three years since our last One Days HK short. And five years since we made our very first one! Honestly, I didn’t think it would have gone on this long but I’m really pleased that it has. If you haven’t watched any of the shorts from this series, it’s basically a collection of stories based and inspired by the people and places of Hong Kong. They were all made while we happened to be traveling in Asia and each short was shot in one day. Those are the “rules” we made for ourselves.

In this most recent short, “Left on Shing Wong” a young writer, Vincent, encounters a very unique spirit played by Robynn Yip. He soon learns she’s responsible for collecting and protecting all the lost thoughts and memories that get left behind on the stairs as people go up and down them. Furthermore, he learns how new ideas and inspirations are created. In a sense, Robynn is a muse.

The story structure is circular. It begins with Vincent just after having met Robynn and his retelling of the encounter. When it starts, Vincent is totally stuck not knowing what to write but after his meeting with Robynn, he starts to tell her story. The only indication of this is that the short starts and ends with the same line “Today, the steps on the hill told me their secret.”

The concept for this story came up at the last minute (as most things tend to do for me). I knew I wanted to make something while we were traveling to Hong Kong. And I also knew I didn’t want it to be centered around boy/girl romantic couple. It’s not that I have anything against that kind of story. But at the time, I had just finished the short “Somewhere Like This” which was heavily focused on a romantic relationship. For this HK short, I wanted to try something different. A good friend of ours, Carmen Chan, introduced me to the the stairs on Shing Wong Street of Sheung Wan. There are certain places in the world that are simply inspiring. I believe the hillside steps on Shing Wong Street is one of those places. So much so, that it made me think of notion of inspiration and how it could be explained. I thought about the act of going up and down stairs. What do people think about? What do people remember? What do they forget? It’s such a rhythmic everyday action but I knew a story could come from it. I was really pleased with the idea of a spirit that roams the stairs because it felt very different from our usual content. We don’t usually tell fantasy stories, so it was fun to explore the genre. Actually, if there had been more time, I wanted to dive deeper into her character and perhaps how she could return one of Vincent’s lost memories to him. I definitely think there’s room to explore the idea further. I’d like to believe there are more spirits like Robynn’s character all around the world. In another short for the future? Maybe :]

The production of “Left on Shing Wong” couldn’t have been possible without some really awesome friends. Helen Ma, who has been in three One Days HK shorts, helped us find props and also introduced us to Vincent Poon. The night before the shoot, she guided us around the city to find the mason jar (from IKEA) and the marbles (from Goldfish Street). Alex Lee, a student from HKBU, helped as a production assistant. Caleb and Josh Ng of Common Ground graciously offered their space for us to shoot in and around.

Robynn Yip is a long time friend of Wong Fu Productions. We met in Chicago years ago during our first university tour. Since then, she moved to Hong Kong and pursued music and is now part of the successful musical duo, Robynn and Kendy. Check out their music HERE! Robynn’s been in another One Days HK short called “See Through” directed by Phil. We’ve always wanted to feature her again so it was really nice to work on this one with her. Being able to feature Kendy made it all the better too! It’s also important to note how helpful it is to have people that can help translate an English script to Cantonese! The dialogue is very dense and definitely not everyday vocabulary but with their help, I think we got it down just right!

Interestingly, we shot this short six months ago but only finished it now. Kenson and I are big fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s work and we both felt that this short had a Miyazaki feel to it. I know that’s claiming a lot haha. In any case, Kenson found inspiration from Joe Hisaishi’s music and other sources as well. This is one of my favorite scores that he’s composed and I think it truly adds so much to the piece. We also spent a good amount of time discussing how the marble visuals could be enhanced to create that magical feel. The end product had them glowing while floating and more solidified when at rest.

 

Thanks so much for watching!

  • TypoChecker :D

    Typo? Please remove this comment if this wasn’t a typo, or if the typo is real and has now been edited.

    “Since then, she moved to Hong Kong and pursued music and is not part of the successful musical duo, Robynn and Kendy. ”

    “…not part of the successful…” was that supposed to be “now” instead of “not”?

    • TypoChecker 2.0

      also, “the the stairs”

  • bernardo

    What lens is that ?

  • Jan Wong

    very refreshing! :) Jan_

  • http://www.youtube.com/mouthsweet ca`roline sweetmouth hopeflows

    intriguing<3

  • iluvunicorns

    Absolutely beautiful and inspiring as well. Inspiration from a short about inspiration. =)

  • sona

    i loved this story very much! the beauty of it was overwhelming :) wes keep writing this brilliant stuff i feel nowadays the (internet) world is lacking of those truly great masterpieces with lots of efforts put in so thanks for existing and making videos wongfu <3

  • Vivian Kwan

    Pure. Just, pure.

  • Shruthi Ram

    Videos like this make us stop and think for a moment. With our busy everyday routines who would think about something as inanimate as stairs! Thanks to you guys we see the finer joys in life. Wes, keep thinking deep, what you have is an imagination that is really hard to find. Wong Fu, keep on amazing us with such simple yet stunning videos! Love you guys forever!!!

  • dusky rainbow

    inspiring! not many would step out and create a film that actually hits you at home and tasteful at the same time..
    brilliant story and art direction! keep them coming!

  • Grace Barrato

    amazing as always, Wesley!

  • WF4L

    Spirited Away

  • a

    It is really good, and It reminds me of the studio Ghibli movies.

  • Ariana

    i kept wanting to turn the subtitles off since i understood canto …. didn’t work – oh well :(

  • Melody Chang

    Absolutely brilliant and beautiful! The reason why I have followed WF all these years! Keep it up JIA YOU FIGHTING I love y’alls work!

  • jem

    Music went so well with the nature of this short :)

  • Nathan

    Awesome stuff! Your production value and quality has greatly improved with each new video. Seriously! Its like Hollywood quality. Quick question though, was the audio all recorded on that microphone on the camera? That must be an amazing mic!

  • Lea S

    Simply marblelous. =]

  • ET

    Yet another amazing piece from you Wes! So much depth to it and makes people think a lot. Appreciate all the effort put into a short 4min skit by the whole team good job!!! Really really enjoyed it!

  • Clara Tan

    Wow, just wow. Beautiful work, Wes. You definitely nailed this fantasy genre in such a realistic/relatable way =P thanks for all your awesome works, wongfu! Keep it up! Amazing

  • j

    hi may i know if you will release the score for this please? simply beautiful!

  • Lee Faith

    yes, even before i see the director’s notes, i see Hayao Miyazaki in this short. the spirited feel is very nice (好舒服). some thoughts & memories are better to be let go of… i like that very much… sometimes a thought is best left hanging.

  • sin

    i’m so glad i’ve read this as i feared that i’m the only one who felt that this short is kind of “Studio Ghibli-ish”….which is never bad in my book. and oh i love the location!

  • Joy

    I like the concept.

  • Kurt Leung

    though i sometimes walk in this stair (i live in Hong Kong), i haven’t thought about what we miss or forget in our daily life, the video is so meaningful and help us to think about what LIFE is, thanks for the video.

  • crystal_phoenix

    A pretty little short ^_^
    There definitely was a Miyazaki feel to this piece, and I love it!

    Reading about Wes’s belief of such spirits everywhere in our world also reminded me of Mushishi, one of my favorite manga and anime. It tells stories of ever-present, potentially dangerous, but not malicious spirits, and one who wanders the world studying them.
    You should check it out Wes~!

  • Regina Ekaputri

    i just love the cinematography. it’s all so beautiful! and the story too! looking forward to more shorts, wesley! :) btw what camera do you use?

  • Cora

    This is a really awesome short, a fantastic imaginative story that i have never seen from you. It truely surprise and amaze me

  • Kathy

    This beautiful piece calmed me down after a very hectic day and made me feel at ease.
    Thank you, Wes! You truly are talented.

  • Faris

    There is no doubt that your short pays an admirable homage to Miyazaki’s work. However the problem I have with your short Wes is that it seems to be too indulgent. No doubt that it is visually impressive and that you really understand your angles in cinematography, but the dialogue feels too dry. Another issue I have is about believability. I just don’t believe that the girl is some ethereal being. All I see is just some girl in a white dress doing some awkward movements trying to pick up a couple of marbles.

    This probably would have worked if you made her do some graceful movements from chinese folklore dance(?) perhaps then I would have believed she was a captivating spirit. I wanted to be mesmerised but throughout the entire short I just felt strangely disconnected.

    I used to be a proud Wong Fu Fan but sometimes I feel that you guys are being a bit too complacent with the recent “success” you’ve been having. As filmmakers you should really be pushing boundaries but as the years gone by I just feel like you’ve been producing material which is far too “safe”.

    Just to sum it up, stop making wishy washy material and make something that will not only resonate with your fans but with the film community as well. You guys are more than just youtubers. You are capable of becoming legitimate film makers. So please stop wasting your talents.

  • SandyG.

    I could not isolate just which part of this story I loved the most. You mention Miyazaki and I felt that too. Miyazaki has this gift, among many, to take the viewer to a different world and engage with it, be part of it, and then leave you thinking about it when you just grasped it. I got that feeling through “Left on Shing Wong.” I think I’ve been so thirsty for stories like this where not everything is so clichéd and absent of substance. Sometimes I even get sad when I see movies in mainstream, or any media, that are made solely for profit and meet the bare minimum for an audience that does not appreciate nor care to explore life and its wonders. Thanks Wes. This may sound corny, but when you put a part of your soul in your work I think that speaks to people. Miyazaki does that in his work, and again I got that feel here. And when someone does this even if its food, it can move a person to tears. I was definitely moved by your work, Wes. Most Definitely. :)

  • Sophia

    This short caught me by surprise because the Sheung Wan steps where where I met my first-love. I started following my crush down these stairs after school and eventually we started walking down together. We would always look forward to walking together after school and talking about life. We dated for awhile, but separated because of where life took us. But this short brought me back to memory lane. Thanks, Wongfu!

  • http://www.incion.com/ web design company los angeles

    i just love the cinematography. it’s all so beautiful! and the story too! looking forward to more shorts, wesley!

  • Shazia

    GOSH she looks so different from the See through video !

  • mysTery

    This is a really special short. I definitely would agree that it had a Miyazaki feel to it. I really love that style of story telling. It can be subtle but very thought provoking. Thank you for such a wonderful short!!

  • Emily Jones

    This is one of the best (if not the best) shorts I have ever seen. The idea is just so brilliant! Thanks for this, Wes. I’ll be following your productions more closely from now on!

  • http://www.online-phd-uk.co.uk/ OnlinePhDUK

    brilliant video….thanks for sharing!!!